Travel, Lifestyle and DIY Makeovers

Kylie Siow

How An Aspiring Accountant Paves Her Way Into Self-Discovery Through Her Vlogs And Little MakeOvers

Travel, Lifestyle and DIY Makeovers
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May 3, 2022

Who are you and what kind of content do you create?

My name is Kylie and I am based in Malaysia. I lived in the UK to pursue an Accounting degree and recently came home to Malaysia for good. I am currently pursuing my professional qualification in accounting. 

I upload videos on YouTube as a hobby - mainly revolving around travels, lifestyle vlogs, and more recently, room makeovers! Just anything that I’m up to, really.

Let's go down memory lane, tell us your backstory! 

I started my Youtube channel back in 2013, and I mainly used my channel to upload short travel montage videos whenever I got to travel. I did that mainly to document them as memories to look back on in the future. I find looking back at videos so much more meaningful and memorable compared to just photos!

The pandemic hit during my final year at the university, and I had to come home half a year sooner than anticipated. No graduation, no summer trips. It was really not how I expected to conclude my time in the UK. I decided to try vlogging for the first time to document my last week in the UK, and that was when I started going into making vlogs since I could no longer travel around. 

I was stuck at home for so long during the pandemic that I decided to give my bedroom a little makeover which I also uploaded a video about. To my surprise, it went viral and garnered over 1.7 million views to date! 

That single video grew my channel significantly, and I discovered my enjoyment in doing little makeovers! 

I have also recently uploaded a video on transforming an old bedroom into a cozy home office.

My channel is really just a channel of self-discovery, and of me documenting all the things that I am learning about along the way.

How do you brainstorm ideas for your content and what is your advice in getting the creative juices flowing?

As I have been doing vlogs most recently, I don’t plan for them much as I just film whatever it is that I’m up to. However, I do have a list of video ideas that I constantly update. These are mainly from watching other YouTube videos that I find interesting, and those I think would be fun for me to make. I’m only a small-time YouTube hobbyist, so content creation is not that serious for me as I don’t push myself into creating one video each week, or any deadline for that matter - I upload videos that I like whenever I like!

What are the tools and platforms you use to help with your brand?

I started my channel with videos that were edited using good ol’ iMovie. It worked really great as an introductory film editing software as it’s simple and easy to use. It doesn’t feel overwhelming for people with no experience like myself! I’d really recommend starting out with iMovie if anyone is looking to start a YouTube channel but has no experience in video editing. 

The features were, however, very limited so I am currently editing on Final Cut Pro X. It is way more advanced. I spent a lot of hours on YouTube trying to learn how to edit in this. 

What were your fears starting out? How did you handle it? 

I was definitely worried about what people would think of my videos, so I never talked in any of my videos when I started my channel. Of course, talking to a camera is also a little weird so I never felt comfortable doing that as well. I started worrying less about what people thought of me because honestly, nobody really cares about what we do other than ourselves, am I right? I chose to focus on what I truly enjoy doing and try not to let my fear of judgment hinder me from my hobby. 

I slowly grew more comfortable with talking in front of the camera as I ventured into vlogging. It just feels more natural the more you practice. Trust me, you’ll get better with time. I’m still not comfortable with talking in front of the camera with an audience, so I’m working on that! 

For someone who wants to get into content creation, what is your advice?

1. If you want to start a YouTube channel, then start a YouTube channel! You don't have to wait until you get the best camera equipment, nor do you have to wait until you have the best video editing skills. You will eventually learn and pick up more skills along the way and thus, you can upgrade your equipment as you go along.

The most important thing is to start!

2. Don't let your fear of judgment from others stop you from starting your YouTube channel. We often care too much about what people think or say about us, but honestly, it is really not a reason good enough to hinder you from your passion!

Tell us the biggest obstacles you have experienced in your content creation journey. And how did you bounce back?

I would say the biggest challenge I face from time to time is the constant dilemma between focusing on why I do what I do, and the pursuit of chasing views. Every video I put up takes at least 20-30 hours of editing, not counting the many hours of filming. It’s difficult to watch when some of the videos that I worked so hard for, just don’t do as well as the others! 

There’s also the YouTube Studio app that shows you the performance of your latest upload compared to the recent 10 videos that you uploaded. It’s really demoralizing to see that your recent video is ranking last, upload after upload. I always try to remind myself to focus on what I do, instead of chasing the views. If I have tried my best in creating my best work that I enjoy making which unfortunately doesn’t garner as many views, then so be it. You can never beat the YouTube algorithm, or at least I can’t, so I just focus on what I do best and hope for the best!

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

My best milestone has definitely got to be the one when my room makeover video went viral. 

My initial goal for the year was to achieve 1,000 subscribers. I was hoping to hit it by the end of the year in 2021 (when I had 400). That was quickly achieved within a matter of days when the room makeover video went viral. The video was averaging 10,000 views a day when I barely had 300 views on each of my videos usually. 

When it hit a million views, it felt like such a dream! It’s really crazy to think that over a million people actually watched my video!

That single video alone also allowed me to monetize my channel. It still feels surreal that I am able to earn a single cent out of posting videos on YouTube when it was never my intention to do so.

I also started receiving messages from viewers that I don’t personally know, to tell me that they enjoy watching my videos and just to show their support. It really meant so much to me because I never thought anyone aside from my friends and family would be watching what I post on YouTube!

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

As my channel gained traction, I started receiving emails from brands asking for collaborations. In fact, many of them were rather shady - some posed as people from Amazon, Gucci, Forever 21, H&M, gaming software; you name it, they have it. The emails were poorly written and it is obvious that they’re fake! If you ever receive something like that, be careful with them!

Of course, some were also genuine partnership requests - I have only ever worked on two collaborations, with products that I genuinely would use and am interested to try out. 

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